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Avatar universal

Lymph node involvment

My mother in law has just been diagnosed with a very large, invasive breast cancer...  I've been able to find a lot of information about treatment when the lymph nodes are involved, but I've not been able to find out anything about WHAT that really means in the greater scheme of things.  Several questions come to mind:
1)  When breast cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, is it now considered Lymphoma?
2)  Once it is in the Lymph nodes are other organs more susceptible to also becoming cancerous?  If so, which are most likely?
3)  Can you provide any statistics on survival rates ?

7 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear rob1128, When breast cancer spreads to the lymph nodes it is still considered breast cancer and is evaluated and treated as such.  Lymphoma is a totally different disease.  There is a greater likelihood that cancer may spread to other area's of the body if lymphnodes are involved.  This doesn't mean that it has.  Some type of adjuvant treatment is generally recommended (adjuvant treatment is given after surgery to try to prevent or minimize the growth of microscopic deposits of tumor cells that might grow into a recurrent tumor).  Sites of metastasis (cancer spread) can be anywhere, more common sites are bone, liver, lung).  Survival rates are based on staging of cancer, certain other prognostic features of the disease, and are generally quoted in terms of five-year survival.  Lower stage cancers (stage I) have better five-year survival rates than higher stage cancers, but how an individual will do that will depend on how they respond to treatments etc.
Avatar universal
Until you get the professional answer I can share what I know about the lymph nodes.  I found the whole thing about lymph nodes very confusing when I was first diagnosed.  The lymph system is like your blood vessels in that it runs throughout your body but it carries lymph. This lymph is a fluid that surrounds all the cells in our bodies and helps remove waste products from these cells. The excess lymph drains from areas through lymph vessels which then dump into lymph nodes. The lymph also plays a major roll in fighting off foreign cells like bacteria. These nodes are collection points and they tend to be grouped together in certain parts of your bodies such as your underarms (axilla). The lymph nodes actually filter the lymph fluid and capture the invading cells before it dumps the excess lymph into the bloodstream. The nodes are full of antibodies that then attack the invader.

That brings us back to breast cancer. The lymph node sees the cancer as an invader and traps most of it there. That is why a surgeon wants to test the lymph nodes- it is the likely place to find the cancer if it has spread. If the cancer isn
Avatar universal
It's not lymphoma. Breast cancer in lymph nodes is still breast cancer. When it's spread to lymph nodes, it can still be cured, as long as it has spread no further. Chemotherapy (drugs to kill cancer cells) is effective in breast cancer, and is virtually always given when it's in the lymph nodes. The cure rate depends on many factors, including how many nodes are involved, and various characteristics of the  cancer itself. It's true that when it's in the nodes there's a higher chance of it getting somewhere else. With breast cancer, places where it goes are several; especially bones, liver, lungs....whereever a particular cancer goes, it's still called by the name of origin. For example breast cancer in the bones is not bone cancer; it's metastatic (meaning spread) breast cancer.
Avatar universal
Sir:  If one has 11 positive lymph nodes and it has metastisized to the distal femur and is unable to have chemo due to other medical conditions.  Has had Arimidex and failed, now on Femara and Zometa. The plan is if this fails, next is Faslodex and then possibly Zeloda.  Does a person like that really have any chance of survival?  Thank you.
Avatar universal
What does this mean? C4 node cancer? What does the term  reoccuring cancer mean?
She has no family history of breast cancer. She was diagnoised yesterday with breast cancer and C4 node cancer. (She will undergo a MRI Monday to see where else the cancer might be, then have a double Mas. and chemo, all starting next week.) Please respond asap as I am going crazy. Where do we go for support?
Avatar universal
To get some answers from the "experts" here you need to post a new question to the forum.  Sometimes it can be tough to get in but keep trying early in the day.

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Avatar universal
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